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55 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

FWIW, my TA thinks HAL is chasing Celebrity and trying to get closer to their suite amenities.  The problem is that the lines with a designated restaurant for suites had that venue from the start, at least on most of their ships. This is a retrofit--my suite got me the right to eat dinner in America's Test Kitchen. It just doesn't feel like a step up. 

 

I agree with your TA. But Celebrity's Luminae suite restaurant (for the Solstice class ships I've been on) has a quiet, luxury atmosphere with a wall of ocean views, comfortable padded chairs, carpeting, elegant modern decor, specialty lighting, completely different menu, etc. (Non-suite passengers, if space is available, are limited to the invited guests of suite passengers who host them and pay a fee.)

 

So I also agree with you - offering the existing test kitchen atmosphere with fast-food style chairs, overhead exhaust fans, no sea views, no carpet, no decor changes, see-through glass walls - and virtually the same menu as the main dining room - is a misstep versus a step up at dinner time.

 

I won't see for myself until April, but seems like a step-down to seat the suite passengers in a room that is not nearly as attractive as the main dining room or the Pinnacle Grill.

 

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Suite passengers pay extra for the Pinnacle Grill at supper; Club Orange is included in the fare.  I much preferred CO to the MDR.  

 

The thought behind leaving the existing glass walls intact was so diners could still see the ocean from their seats.  Most of the time passers-by (which there really aren’t many of), as well as the CO diners, don’t really pay much attention to each other.... kind of like people do everywhere.  If they look it’s just a glance.  Most HAL cruisers are quite civilized.

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1 hour ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

When I walked by at night, I never saw it more than half full. At breakfast, it was never full, but I think more people opted for CO breakfast than Pinnacle (on our previous cruises). Perhaps word got out about the freshly made French toast and waffles. 

 

My guess is that there were more in CO than at PG for Breakfast is that HAL is actively selling CO as "You can have suite benefits without being in a suite".  

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37 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

The thought behind leaving the existing glass walls intact was so diners could still see the ocean from their seats.

 

I have appreciated all your comments since you have been in the venue on Koningsdam and I haven't yet on any of the ships. Just going by the photos and deck plan, there appears to be a walkway and galley on the glass walled side, and Blend on the other on Nieuw Statendam, though. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has been on that ship about whether ocean views factor in.

 

Thank you, Miss G, for advising from your experience on Koningsdam that diners can indeed view the ocean from their seats. Maybe the deck plan is different?

 

 

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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6 minutes ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

I have appreciated all your comments since you have been in the venue and I haven't yet. Just going by the photos and deck plan, there appears to be a walkway and galley on the glass walled side, and Blend on the other. So thank you for advising from your experience that diners can indeed view the ocean from their seats.

 

Yes, Blend is at the entrance to Club Orange but I never noticed it in use during dining hours.  I believe they had a Happy Hour there at some point. I might try that one day!  There would usually be people walking by on their way to and from the MDR, but found most people accessed the MDR from the aft elevators.  As with all new things it took me a day or two to adjust and then I fell into the flow of things.  It was nice to see the same faces on a daily basis because you began to acknowledge each other whenever you met.  There was a camaraderie after a few seatings... to the point where some diners ended up sharing tables.  It was really quite pleasant and nice.

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This one came from the Princess "Club Class" with a part of the MDR blocked off for "Club Class" passengers in some mini suites and full suites

 

I really think that CO was created 100% as a revenue generator.  I'm guessing someone said "let's add in the NS" 

 

If HAL is trying to keep up with Celebrity or even MSC suite offerings they have a long way to go. Luminae on Celebrity and Yacht Club restaurant on MSC:.

 

 

5-luminae-2_orig.jpg

MSC17010872.jpg

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Passengers sending a mixed message - we want to dress down, but we want you to dress up.

Let us wear ripped jeans and tee-shirts, but we want plush decor and chandeliers. 

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1 hour ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

I have appreciated all your comments since you have been in the venue on Koningsdam and I haven't yet on any of the ships. Just going by the photos and deck plan, there appears to be a walkway and galley on the glass walled side, and Blend on the other on Nieuw Statendam, though. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has been on that ship about whether ocean views factor in.

 

Thank you, Miss G, for advising from your experience on Koningsdam that diners can indeed view the ocean from their seats. Maybe the deck plan is different?

 

 

 

On the K you get daylight, but I wouldn't call it an ocean view.

 

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27 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

This one came from the Princess "Club Class" with a part of the MDR blocked off for "Club Class" passengers in some mini suites and full suites

 

I really think that CO was created 100% as a revenue generator.  I'm guessing someone said "let's add in the NS" 

 

If HAL is trying to keep up with Celebrity or even MSC suite offerings they have a long way to go. Luminae on Celebrity and Yacht Club restaurant on MSC:.

 

 

 

 

 

(I deleted the photos to save space)

I don't know what they were thinking. It was set up as a revenue generator when it was a sort of gastropub with microbrews and some light food in the evening. They could have done more with that concept.

 

I don't think it will generate a lot of revenue, not at that price when the menu is mostly the same as the MDR menu. 

 

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Orange is not an elegant color, no matter how much lipstick is applied. The ship design is the problem. I have mentioned before - problem solved by completely enclosing the space, installing large virtual windows with high def. flat screens behind for great ocean views and completely gutting the stupid interior. Or, as others have said, fully develope the concept to make it an awesome gastropub. The local gastropub is the most popular venue in our town! And fire the visionary who came up with CO concept. And yes, I am very biased because I am a 4 star mariner and book NS or PS. Curious if Miss G normally stays in a NP, since she is such a positive supporter of the CO concept? That answer might better help me to understand her perspective. 

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10 minutes ago, twodjs said:

Orange is not an elegant color, no matter how much lipstick is applied. The ship design is the problem. I have mentioned before - problem solved by completely enclosing the space, installing large virtual windows with high def. flat screens behind for great ocean views and completely gutting the stupid interior. Or, as others have said, fully develope the concept to make it an awesome gastropub. The local gastropub is the most popular venue in our town! And fire the visionary who came up with CO concept. And yes, I am very biased because I am a 4 star mariner and book NS or PS. Curious if Miss G normally stays in a NP, since she is such a positive supporter of the CO concept? That answer might better help me to understand her perspective. 

 

Only the tote bags for people who pay $50 pppd and the mat at the check-in line are actually orange. "Orange" is for the House of Orange, the ruling family of the Netherlands. 

 

I don't see virtual reality as a solution. I'd rather the glass box than a bunch of big-screens. 

 

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13 minutes ago, twodjs said:

Orange is not an elegant color, no matter how much lipstick is applied. The ship design is the problem. I have mentioned before - problem solved by completely enclosing the space, installing large virtual windows with high def. flat screens behind for great ocean views and completely gutting the stupid interior. Or, as others have said, fully develope the concept to make it an awesome gastropub. The local gastropub is the most popular venue in our town! And fire the visionary who came up with CO concept. And yes, I am very biased because I am a 4 star mariner and book NS or PS. Curious if Miss G normally stays in a NP, since she is such a positive supporter of the CO concept? That answer might better help me to understand her perspective. 

We are also 4 star and always sail in NS.  We don't like the MDR rush and noise and dinner every night is in the PG.  We like breakfast in PG for the same reason- peace and quiet. We sail on Vista and Signature pretty much exclusively and enjoy our breakfasts at the windows in PG.

 

If they bring the CO concept over to the rest of the ships and rope off a section of the MDR for it is still the lipstick reference. No matter how much lipstick it is still the noisy MDR.  We were on Amsterdam a few years ago and they had moved breakfast back to PG.  Evidently they were using part of MDR for suite breakfast because PG didn't have windows.  People complained and was moved back.

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3GenCurnard - you raise a good point about solo passenger comfort in CO. Would a "group table" with posted meeting times help? What would make this an okay setting for the solo passenger - comfortable "bar" seats facing the food prep area? Alcove seating for two used by one - banquettes along the wall  facing outwards?

 

What are dining settings that offer the most comfort for solo diners - I know I like to tuck into a quiet corner by a wall and face outwards.

Edited by OlsSalt

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33 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

 

 

If they bring the CO concept over to the rest of the ships and rope off a section of the MDR for it is still the lipstick reference. No matter how much lipstick it is still the noisy MDR.  We were on Amsterdam a few years ago and they had moved breakfast back to PG.  Evidently they were using part of MDR for suite breakfast because PG didn't have windows.  People complained and was moved back.

 

The answer is probably on this thread somewhere beyond quote above so I apologize for asking - is Club Orange only on the Konigsdam and New Statendam ?  If so, I won't see it on the Nieuw Amsterdam next month, correct/

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15 minutes ago, SJSULIBRARIAN said:

 

The answer is probably on this thread somewhere beyond quote above so I apologize for asking - is Club Orange only on the Konigsdam and New Statendam ?  If so, I won't see it on the Nieuw Amsterdam next month, correct/

 

Yes, that is correct.

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1 hour ago, twodjs said:

Curious if Miss G normally stays in a NP, since she is such a positive supporter of the CO concept? That answer might better help me to understand her perspective. 

 

The last 3 sailings were in a NS.  A Verandah is the only other category of stateroom I have stayed in.

 

We took a page out of @frankc98376‘s book on the September Zuiderdam sailing and ate at the Pinnacle Grill each night.  That, combined with breakfast in the PG each morning, was our favorite way to dine.  Club Orange on the Koningsdam came in second, then the Nieuw Amsterdam Pinnacle Grill breakfasts came in a dead last.  We actually hated the NA PG experience for multiple reasons.   The tables were on top of each other and the service was haphazard, unfriendly, and scarce.  We only dined there a couple of times since it was so abysmal.

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I was offered the Club Orange upgrade offer today for my upcoming Nieuw Statendam cruise on a March 31.  Being 4* this certainly isn’t worth the $50 pp per day.  If it was $50 pp for the entire cruise maybe we would consider.

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Miss G, I want to make sure 

You are for the club orange? You think the benefits are worth it?

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Is the Neptune suite worth spending the extra money for as apposed to the signature or vista suite? Is having access to the concierge make such a huge difference?

 

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Hi All! We're relatively new around here. We booked a March cruise on the Koningsdam in a balcony/verandah. We were also offered Orange Dining but didn't realize that it was a per person per day charge. We have already placed some pre-orders for our cruise, but reading the posts here we wondered if there was a place on CruiseCritic where people were allowed to post what ship and date and category cabin they were in and how much total they paid.  Is that possible?

 

We are on a 10 day cruise, so adding Club Orange would be an extra $1,000. Since we haven't been on the ship yet, we don't know what to expect but $1,000 extra for a private dining room on a sailing with 6 ports and only one tender port seems like a waste of money. If people paid just a couple hundred dollars for an inside cabin and wanted to splurge -- maybe?  Thanks in advance for sharing your experience.  

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8 minutes ago, Lava123 said:

Is the Neptune suite worth spending the extra money for as apposed to the signature or vista suite? Is having access to the concierge make such a huge difference?

 

 

"Worth it" depends on what you want.

 

For me, it's about the big balcony for fresh air and scenery. For DH it was the lounge. I could be happy with a rabbit hutch cabin if it came with a big balcony. NS balconies have a table and chairs that you can actually use to eat, plus loungers or chairs with footstools. My first NS experience was in a corner aft on a Vista and I was hooked. I did not like our corner aft on K'dam. That ship bangs and bounces in following seas and shimmies at the back in the slightest wind. So this time I was in a midship NS  on the K. We booked this location because DH liked the lounge and the convenience of nearby coffee and snacks was important for him and because I didn't want to be aft. I have to say, being closer to the lounge meant I used it more often and the snacks were nice.

 

The other perk I have always enjoyed was the Pinnacle breakfast, and I did get used to the CO breakfast. Free laundry also comes with the suite, but I already get that because I'm 4*. 

 

The concierge is helpful. You can go to him/her for anything that you'd do at the front desk--book or cancel a tour, make a dinner reservation, etc. They will print your boarding pass for your flight home. They will check your account and print it out for you. I make my plans myself and I can use a kiosk or the interactive TV to make bookings or check my balance, so I don't use the concierge a lot. But some passengers do make a lot of requests and find the concierge useful. 

 

I deliberated keeping this cruise right up to final payment. In the end, I kept the booking, but I won't be in a NS again. It's just too expensive for a single--HAL's "single supplement" means I paid two fares, even though I was alone. And they are so cheap that I got only one chocolate. Geez, couldn't they give me the "missing person's" chocolate??????????????

 

If I go back to HAL, it will be in a Vista or smaller, and I'll just get a balcony. Next for me is a cruise on Cunard (balcony not suite), where a single in a double cabin (at 175% instead of HAL's 200%) gets TWO chocolates at night. 

 

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35 minutes ago, Lava123 said:

Miss G, I want to make sure 

You are for the club orange? You think the benefits are worth it?

 

I enjoyed Club Orange as a benefit of having a Neptune Suite.  I would not purchase it in addition to booking a Signature/Vista Suite or Verandah as I do not see any value, personally, beyond the dining aspect.  But when you can dine in a specialty restaurant for less than the per diem of CO it devalues itself even further.

 

To summarize....

 

Yes to Club Orange as part of the Neptune Suite perks.

No to Club Orange (for me) as an add-on to a non-PS/NS booking.

Edited by *Miss G*

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5 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

Yes to Club Orange as part of the Neptune Suite perks.

No to Club Orange (for me) as an add-on to a non-PS/NS booking

 

From what I observed on Nieuw Statendam, those are my thoughts as well.

 

I think I may have posted this before, but if Club Orange does not "work", I think moving Canaletto to that location would help make it more "special" than its location, which is after all, still a part of the Lido Restaurant.

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3 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

On the K you get daylight, but I wouldn't call it an ocean view.

 

 

I take it back. I was just looking at my pictures and here's the view from a table near the walkway.

 

 

IMG_20190125_081535470_HDR.jpg

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